Most Hi-fi enthusiasts will always desire a separates system where you choose speakers, amp, CD player, tuner and any other components individually, often from different manufacturers. This is generally the best way to get top sound quality. Often, each component comes with its own remote too.
Hi Fi Mini systems offer many of the benefits of a separates system but in a more neat compact form, all from one manufacturer and with one remote. But for those who aren't quite so obsessed with the very best sound, mini systems can offer neat solutions which take up less space with surprisingly good sound quality. However, separates can look bulky and don't look neat. They are also more technical to set up and to choose each component in a system takes technical experience, for this reason this makes Hi Fi Mini Systems an easier choice and for example you can choose Mini systems with Speakers or Mini Systems without Speakers
The latest Hi Fi Mini systems are compact, fashionable and can sound almost as good as larger Hi-Fi systems and separates. They are space saving and perfect for smaller living rooms, bedrooms or kitchens.Mini Systems are great for areas where you don't want to take up too much space with a full size system.
You can listen to your favourite CDs, radio stations or even your iPod, many feature detachable speakers so that you can arrange the system whichever way you like and still produce great sound. Appreciative ears are the only qualification required for choosing a good system and that's why you can be your own expert.
Hi Fi Mini systems can have all the latest technology and the features of larger separate systems for example Mini Hi Fi systems can supportmost media formats such as CD/CDR/CDRW/WMA playback and most modern systems support iPod or Mp3 playback. In-built iPod Docks allow you to plug your iPod straight into the mini Hi-Fi system and to enable control of the device via the hi-fi system.Some Hi-Fi systems feature an integrated iPod docking cradle that enables you to play your iPod through your HiFi system so you can enjoy 1000's of your favourite tracks in the comfort of your own home. Some also feature a charging facility so your iPod will be fully charged and ready to go for when you're on the move again.
Mini Hi Fi systems with a USB socket can connect USB compatible Mp3 players and most systems will have 3.5mm jack input. This is another way to connect your Mp3 player to the system by plugging in a 3.5mm jack cable into the Mp3 player's headphone socket.
DAB Digital Broadcast Radio
| Check your digital
As well as the conventional FM Stations and MW bands some of the latest Mini Systems incorporate DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) which gives you benefits of additional features. Digital Audio Broadcasting gives you more station choice, 'Hiss and crackle' free reception,one touch re-tuning with no frequencies to remember anddynamic text information which tells you what and who you are listening to.DAB is reportedly available over 80% of the UK. You can check on the availability of digital radio in your area with the Digital Radio DAB Postcode Checker
How loud will a Hi Fi Mini System go Mini Systems will refer to a certain number of watts (W) of powerand that refers to how many watts of power the system can produce through the speakers. It is true that to produce louder volumes you need more power. However the relationship between loudness and power is not that straightforward and other factors must be considered.
What to look for in a budget system
If you wish to fill larger rooms with music you will require a more powerful system. Smaller rooms, where you don't plan to play music that loudly only require a relatively small amplifier.
With so many options and so many price points, where do you begin to decide? A budget Hi Fi Mini system should include a CD player and about 25 watts of power for a pair of two-way speakers. This is sufficient for an office or small bedroom. Over 25 watts will deliver a higher quality system, but still with relatively small speakers and low wattage amplification.
An improved solution can be found in buying mini systems with larger speakers for example the Denon DM38 with Wharfedale Speakers
If this is going to be a mainstay entertainment system in your living room that will occupy you for many hours each week, then it may be worth it to you to invest a little more money and investigate more powerful Hi Fi Mini systems such as the Teac Reference 600 system and choosing either good Bookshelf speakers or floor standing speakers.
We have also designed some Hi Fi Package Deals that have been chosen for the ability to work together and to reproduce enhanced levels of sound quality.
Do not forget that most Hi Fi Mini Systems have headphone sockets available so for more comfortable listening it's a great idea to choose some compatible headphonessuch as the Sennheiser HD202 which as a closed back for personal listening, you will be amazed how good the sound quality can be.
And finally do not forget you can still play your old vinyl records, most Hi Fi Mini Systems will not be able to play your records directly, however by fitting a Phono Pre Amp unit via the auxiliary socket you can, for example the Rega Fono Pre Amplifier can be connected via your turntable and then you can enjoy your music collection to your heart's content.
Glossary of Terms
DAB Digital Audio Broadcasting. Digital radio uses frequencies in the band 217.5-230MHz in the UK. Broadcasters use varying degrees of compression which can cause the audio quality to vary greatly. Many national stations are only available on DAB.
Dynamic Range: The range between the smallest and largest audio signals in Hi-Fi sound.
Impedance: The resistance to the flow of an electric current in a circuit. This is effectively the electrical load that a loudspeaker presents to the amplifier which is driving it and is measured in ohms.
iPod Dock Connector - The iPod Dock Connector is the interface used by most iPods to connect to Hi Fi Systems and sync data back and forth.
MP3: (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) Standard technology and format for compressing a sound sequence into a very small file by using a lossy compression algorithm. It's also the most used sound format over the Internet because of its good compression ratio, up to 1:12. Common bit rates are: 128, 192, 256 and 320 Kbit/s.
WMA: (Windows Media Audio) Audio compression method developed by Microsoft. Previously known as MS Audio, this proprietary format was conceived as a competitor to the popular MP3 and RealAudio codecs. Especially effective at bit rates below 128 Kbit/s, it's today one of the most popular codecs, together with MP3 and MPEG-4 AAC.
OHMS: Measure of resistance to current (impedance). The lower the impedance of a speaker, the harder it is to drive.
Phono Stage: Turntables output sound at lower levels than other devices, such as CD players. Thus, to ensure they are suitably audible, it is necessary to connect them to a 'Phono stage input', or use a 'Phono pre-amp'.
Two & Three Way Speakers: Speaker crossovers generally split the signal into two or three frequency bands. A two-way speaker doesn't necessarily have two drive units, as additional units can double up. Floor-standing speakers are more likely to be three-way designs.
Watt:A Watt is a unit of energy or power, in stereo Hi Fi Systems, each channel is measured by its output in watts. For example, the Denon DM38 Mini System generates 30 watts of output for each of its two channels, making a total of 60 Watts.